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Mailbag: Importance Of Scheme Flex In This Draft?


Which would be better: A Pro Bowl first rounder or three to four solid contributors from the middle to late rounds?

Rowan: If in this scenario we're assuming there won't be solid contributors in the middle to late rounds if I take the Pro Bowl first rounder, I'd take the second choice. One player isn't going to change this team long-term. They need help at multiple positions, so hitting on just one player, even if he's a Pro Bowler, isn't enough.

David: That's a fun hypothetical. Just in general, I think you'd prefer to have the Pro Bowler – he'll have a longer and more effective career. But on this particular Cowboys roster? I think you might be better suited to taking the handful of good players. This team already has six or seven Pro Bowl-caliber players. What they need the most is consistency and depth away from those spots.

With the possibility of the coaching staff being dismantled next offseason, does it make sense that Jerry Jones could lean more [embedded_ad] towards players with scheme flex (mostly defense) in the draft? Would that almost be giving up before it starts?

Rowan: That's something I've thought about as I look at fits in the defense, but I don't think it would stop them from taking a stud pass rusher or defensive tackle early on in this draft. They want to get better immediately, so I doubt they'll pass on a quick defensive tackle or a pass rusher who wouldn't have an obvious fit in a 3-4 just because it might not go well. It may be a consideration though as a tie-breaker if they're torn between a couple players. It's very possible even if the staff gets dismantled they still stick in the 4-3.

David: It's an interesting point, but I think the focus in the NFL is always on the here and now. Nobody is going to pass up a good player because he might not factor as well into future plans – future plans that might never come to pass, at that. On top of that, I think NFL-caliber athletes will find a way to make it work. If you're good enough to start in the NFL, you're good enough to adapt to whatever scheme the team decides to roll with.

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